Dear Partner in the Gospel
Today is day 24 of our 29 Days of Prayer and Giving for Grace Baptist Partnership. Each day we will focus our attention on a particular church planting, church replanting or church revitalisation project in which we have an interest. We trust you will remember these situations in prayer and that you will take advantage of the opportunity to support the spread of the gospel by means of a donation to Grace Baptist Partnership this month. It will also help us if you will share these requests with your friends by forwarding these emails to them.
I’m not an apostle. I didn’t see the resurrected Lord. I didn’t receive the apostolic commission. I haven’t been given the ability to perform miraculous signs and wonders. Jack Jenner is not from Macedonia. As far as I know he has never even been there. But be sure of this one thing, Jack has been saying come over and help us in Cumbria as long as I have known him.
He is burdened that the number of churches in his county is so small. He is concerned that the churches that are there are so weak. He is troubled that with so much to do the labourers are so few. Well into his seventies, he prays – and presses – on.
In recent years, in addition to his service as an elder at Ulverston, he has helped look after the beleaguered saints at Workington. When scandal rocked the small congregation and church discipline and related attrition reduced their numbers to less than a handful, the easiest thing to do would have been to pack it in. The friends there were not willing to do that. But they needed help. Jack was their man.
Having walked through difficult circumstances before he had the blend of personal humility and spiritual maturity they needed. He knew how to be gracious. He knew when to be firm. Numbers of issues – some too delicate to speak of in this forum – have been successfully (read biblically) addressed. It hasn’t always been easy but with the support and encouragement of his wife and the deep appreciation of the friends at Workington, he has persevered.
The situation is much improved. They have a measure of stability they haven’t known for years. They have even been blessed with conversions and look forward to a baptism – Lord willing – at Easter. But now it is time for Jack to devote more of his time to the work at Ulverston and for the friends at Workington to stand on their feet once more.
Which brings us back to the point. Help is needed in Cumbria. The number of churches is small. Many of the churches that are there are weak. The labourers are few with more than one church being served by someone well beyond retirement age with no one to pass the work on to.
It would be easy to say that Cumbria has always been one of England’s dark corners. It would be right to say that there are areas where the population is higher and the need correspondingly greater. However, in my view it would be wrong to turn a deaf ear to genuine requests for help.
Will you pray that the churches in Cumbria will be revitalised by the preaching of God’s word? Will you pray that towns and villages will be evangelised by the preaching of the gospel? Will you pray that new churches will be formed where the preaching of God’s word will result in biblical belief and behaviour? Will you pray that someone, somewhere will hear this Macedonian call and conclude that God has called them to preach the gospel in Cumbria?
Warm regards in Christ
Grace Baptist Partnership